Canton (MI) guard Cameron Dillard is drawing national attention—along with interest from home-state schools Michigan and MSU—and has already garnered offers from Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and Western Michigan. The 6'3", 280-pound junior is a member of the ESPNU 150 watch list and recently showed his skills with the nation's best underclassmen at the Army All-American Combine. Dillard also trains with former Michigan strength and conditioning coach, Mike Barwis on a day-to-day basis.
Here's the full transcript below:
SimplyComplex: How are things going with you on the recruiting front?
Cameron Dillard: My recruitment is going well. I think I should have a big spring based on all the work I have put in this off-season so far.
Simply: How many offers are you sitting on right now?
Dillard: Right now, I have (5) offers that include Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and Western Michigan.
Simply: Growing up in Michigan, you've been around the UM-MSU rivalry for a long time. Which team is your favorite and why?
Dillard: Actually, I only moved to Michigan 6 years ago, so I can’t say that I have a favorite. Both teams are great. Also, I didn’t realize how intense the rivalry were between the two schools until I was fortunate enough to attend the game this past fall in East Lansing.
Simply: You had a very impressive junior season. What differences did you notice about your play in your junior season compared to your sophomore season?
Dillard: Considering that I worked with Mike Barwis from the summer of my sophomore year and throughout my junior season, I thought I was more athletic, explosive, and I was able to move better on the field as well as get to the second and the third level blocks. Additionally, I worked with Lomas Brown on pass protection, which was a blessing.
Simply: You've had the opportunity to train with Mike Barwis on a weekly basis. How has Mike helped you grow and develop as a football player?
Dillard: Mike and the rest of staff have been great to work with. As I said earlier, I feel working at Barwis Methods in Plymouth, MI has made me more athletic and explosive in my movements.
Simply: What kind of training does Mike have you do?
Dillard: Mike has me doing same Strength and Conditioning program that he implemented at both Michigan and West Virginia. That way, when I get ready to go off to college, I will be physically and mentally prepared for the rigors of the weight room.
Simply: How much do you like working with him?
Dillard: It is fun. Every day is a new challenge. I cannot thank my parents enough for the opportunity to work out at Barwis Methods.
Simply: Which schools are recruiting you the hardest right now, and which schools would you like to hear more from?
Dillard: There are several other schools showing a great deal of interest including Michigan, MSU, Clemson, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Indiana to name a few. However, there are other schools in the Pac 12 that I feel are gaining some momentum as well. As far as places I would like to hear more from, I would say any school that feels I can best fit into their offense.
Simply: You're obviously a very talented player and being a top recruit certainly has its negatives and positives. How have you handled the recruiting process so far?
Dillard: I have had the support of my family and friends through this whole process.
Simply: How do you stay humble during the process?
Dillard: I realize I have an obligation to my family to work hard because I have blessed with football skills that I can use to get an education as well as bring support to my community.
Simply: You recently attended the U.S. Army All-American Combine. How was it?
Dillard: It was a great experience. While in San Antonio, I had a 28.5” vertical and bench pressed 185 lbs. for 35 reps. I still have some work to do on my pass protection, but I feel it has come a long way in a year. I consider myself a road grade machine. In fact someone said to me just the other day, “How many IHOP’s did you open this season?” because of all my pancakes on the field. I thought that was funny.
Simply: Which coaches have you been hearing from Michigan?
Dillard: I have got to talk to Coach Hoke a few times while I was in San Antonio and when I was at the All-State Dream Team banquet. Also, I have talked to Coach Jackson and Coach Mattison. All these coaches have been real positive with me.
Simply: What factors will play a big part in your decision?
Dillard: It is my three A's for a school. These things are athletics, atmosphere, and academics.
Simply: Pretend like you are scouting yourself. What are some areas that you'd like to improve upon, and what are some areas that you excel at?
Dillard: Well, I am consistently known as a dominant run blocker. In fact, I would call myself a “Grinder.” I like going out on the field and grind my opponent for 4 quarters. I think I have a wide body to take up space, but I can move in that space which makes it difficult for defensive players. One thing I wouldn’t say is a strength but is slowly becoming an asset is my pass-protection skills. Our team is primarily run dominant, so I was blessed enough this off-season to work with Lomas Brown on my pass-blocking skills. Lomas helped me with my pass sets and trying to work on different angles to keep the defensive linemen away from the quarterback. Also, Lomas worked with me on my punch by showing me how to time the punch and where to strike. In the end, by combining both the run and pass blocking skills as part of my arsenal, I think I can be a complete player for any college program in 2013.
Simply: Do you plan on attending any summer camps or junior days?
Dillard: Yes, I will actually be at Indiana this weekend for Junior Day followed by Clemson next weekend and West Virginia on Feb. 11th. I visited Michigan State in December, so hopefully I will be able to get up to Michigan in the spring for spring ball.
Simply: Do you have a timeline for when you'd like to make a decision?
Dillard: Not at this moment. I guess whenever I get that gut feeling the school is right for me, then I will make my decision.
Cameron Dillard Junior Film:
Cameron Dillard Junior Film: